We’ve pointed time and again that Rubio’s rhetoric is far from mainstream and his tendencies in demonization of the opposition and foreign policy make him a potentially dangerous President. But in this political season, the focus isn’t on public policy, temperament, maturity or substance but more on style and electability.
Rubio’s march forward has involved creating a narrative related to electability, hitting on red meat GOP themes and accusing President Obama of sedition and “deliberately weakening America.”
After Nevada, the GOP field moves towards the “SEC” Primaries and the Industrial Midwest. Donald Trump’s anti-establishment, anti-free trade positions probably help him in the Midwest, but in the south, Rubio will be the favorite especially if Ted CRuz continues to show weakness. Cruz’s South Carolina showing demonstrated an inability to move beyond hard-core evangelicals, the same people who back Pat Robertson in 1988, Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum (despite his Catholicism) in 2012. Marco Rubio is now once again a Catholic and that should not stop him from being able to gather evangelical votes with his strong rhetoric on religion and distrust of court rulings on issues such as LGBT rights and other liberal decisions.
Rubio needs to win a contest soon. But that might have to wait until March 1st in the south since Nevada despite being a place Rubio spent some of his formative years in the state yet seems to have no home turf advantage there. In 2000, Bill Bradley was considered a “local” candidate by many in the media in the state of Missouri where he had not lived since he was 17. Rubio moved from Nevada back to Florida (his native state) at the age of 14 but nobody is talking about Rubio’s advantages having lived six years in Las Vegas as a child. But then again, Rubio is a man who many of us recall, could not give the esteemed Marc Caputo in 2011 a straight answer on when his parents “fled” Cuba or maybe the accurate description is left Cuba to come the United States. It wasn’t after the 1959 Revolution as has often been implied but in fact in 1956.
These sorts of distinctions do not matter to Rubio. He’s a man who will say or do anything to be elected while pushing a strictly radicalized ideological agenda.